2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers: New format means Ghana has more work to do to qualify for next mundial

CAF in May announced a new format for the qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, following the decision by FIFA to increase Africa’s quota from five to nine direct tickets.

Per the new format which was approved by the Executive Committee of CAF during its meeting in Algiers on Thursday, all the 54 Member Associations will be divided into nine groups of six teams each.

Games will be played on a round-robin basis, and the top team from each group after Match Day 10, will earn an automatic qualification to the 2026 World Cup.

Subsequently, the best four second-placed teams from across all nine groups will enter into a Continental play-off to determine one winner who will then proceed to a second and final play-off which will include six teams from the other different confederations.

From here, another African country could secure qualification to bring the total number of representatives from the continent to 10.

This new format means that Ghana and all competing countries in the qualifiers will play more games than usual.

Instead of the maximum of 8 games in the qualifiers in the past, Ghana will now play at least 10 matches before securing qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

As a result, the Black Stars must work harder and take every game seriously to have any chance of making it to the next mundial.

The African qualifiers which will be played over a period of two years will commence in November this year.

The next FIFA World Cup will be hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.





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